Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Bear a Wee Grudge by Meg Macy: Review & Giveaway!

Bear A Wee Grudge


About Bear A Wee Grudge


Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery) 

Teddy bear shop manager Sasha Silverman must step fast to find a murderer before an upcoming Scottish festival . . .

It’s springtime in Silver Hollow, Michigan, and Sasha is looking forward to the village’s inaugural Highland Fling weekend. Plans are underway for a Kilted 5K, athletic competitions, dancing, live music, and even a Hurl-the-Haggis contest. Meanwhile, Sasha’s staff is busy crafting custom teddy bears in kilts for the Silver Bear Shop’s vendor booth. But trouble’s brewing behind the scenes, as the obnoxious Teddy Hartman, former owner of a rival teddy bear company, sows seeds of discord about town, targeting Sasha’s family and their business.

Things go from plaid to worse when—just a week before the festival kicks-off—the disgruntled gossip is found murdered with an ax buried in his back. Sasha’s dad is arrested, since he’s a champion ax-thrower. But she doesn’t give a dram what it looks like—Sasha knows that despite the old business rivalry with Hartman, her father is innocent. So with a spot of help from her friends, Sasha must bag the real killer before her first Fling also becomes her last.

About Meg Macy

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter -- the setting of her "Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear" cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn't It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg's first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Author Links

Links Website -- https://www.megmacy.com 

My Thoughts

Bear a Wee Grudge by Meg Macy is the 5th A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery series.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series, but I recommend reading this cute series in order.  Sasha Silverman manages the family’s teddy bear shop in Silver Hollow, Michigan.  She is looking forward to the upcoming Highland Fling weekend.  It is a first for their cozy village.  The only bone of contention is the obnoxious Teddy Hartman who is determined to make life difficult for the Silverman’s.  The family is checking out the festival grounds where people are practicing for the highland competitions.  When Sasha’s father, Alex and Gil are hunting for a missing weapon, they find Teddy dead with an axe in his back.  Detective Phil Hunter arrests Alex before forensics is even collected.  Sasha must work quickly if she is to prove her father’s innocence.  I thought Bear a Wee Grudge was well-written with developed characters.  The pacing is a little slower in this story, but the mystery kept me interested.  I like the setting of Silver Hollow.  It is a charming small town with quaint shops and friendly residents.  I love all their festivals and activities.  I enjoy the teddy bear theme and camaraderie at the factory.    The whodunit was a fun one to solve.  There are a number of suspects to consider and clues along the way to help solve the crime.  Sasha actively investigated the murder, and she asks good questions.  There is humor in the story along with plenty of warm moments with family, friends, and Sasha spending time with her kind beau.  Bear a Wee Grudge is a craicing good time with Highland Fling fun, tartan teddy bears, an axed antagonist, an indolent detective, a frustrated family, cruel chatter, a mean Morkie, and a sleuthing Sasha.  

Bear a Wee Grudge is available from Amazon,  B&N, Kobo, Google Play, and Apple BooksYou can find the other novels in A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery series here.  
Giveaway Time!  One winner will receive a print copy of Bear a Wee Grudge, a teddy bear, and more (sorry, but U.S. Only).  To enter, click here or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!
Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Marriage Can Be Mischief by Amanda Flower.  It is the 3rd An Amish Matchmaker Mystery.  Here are a few of the other books that were published today:  Big Trouble in Little Greektown by Kate Collins, Murder at the Lobstah Shack by Maddie Day, The Memory Quilt by Lenora Worth, A Murder Like No Author by Amy Lillard, Christmas Candy Corpse by Rosemarie Ross, and Petals & Poison by Jess Dylan.  I hope that you have a cozy day.  It is hard to believe it is the last day of November.  This year is going by so swiftly. I am off to continue working on my yard decorations.  I have an extension cord problem (too many inflatables and not enough outlets).  I believe a trip to the hardware store is in my future.  Do not forget to leave a comment for an extra entry.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


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Tour Participants

November 30 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW 

December 1 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 

December 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST 

December 2 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

December 2 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
December 3 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW 

December 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW 

December 5 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW 

December 6 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST 

December 6 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW 
December 7 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

December 7 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT 

December 8 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW 

December 9 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST 

December 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 
December 10 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT 


December 12 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

December 13 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
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Monday, November 29, 2021

A Little Christmas Spirit by Sheila Roberts: Review & Excerpt!


A Little Christmas Spirit

About the Book

The best Christmas gifts—family, friendship, and second chances—are all waiting to be unwrapped in this sparkling new novel from USA Today bestselling author Sheila Roberts.

Single mom Lexie Bell hopes to make this first Christmas in their new home special for her six-year-old son, Brock. Festive lights and homemade fudge, check. Friendly neighbors? Uh, no. The reclusive widower next door is more grinchy than nice. But maybe he just needs a reminder of what matters most. At least sharing some holiday cheer with him will distract her from her own lack of romance…

Stanley Mann lost his Christmas spirit when he lost his wife and he sees no point in looking for it. Until she shows up in his dreams and informs him it’s time to ditch his Scroogey attitude. Stanley digs in his heels but she’s determined to haunt him until he wakes up and rediscovers the joys of the season. He can start by being a little more neighborly to the single mom next door. In spite of his protests he’s soon making snowmen and decorating Christmas trees. How will it all end?

Merrily, of course. A certain Christmas ghost is going to make sure of that!

About the Author

Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in Washington State, where most of her novels are set. Her books have been published in several languages. On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark.

Author Links

My Thoughts

A Little Christmas Spirit by Sheila Connolly is a heartwarming Christmas tale.  I was drawn into the story from the very beginning.  This is a cute holiday tale that will put a smile on your face.  The book is well-written with realistic dialogue and characters.  Stanley Mann is still mourning the loss of his wife, Carol.  He has become something of a hermit and curmudgeon.  Then his deceased wife, Carol makes an appearance.  She is tired of Stanley moping about the house and has come to give him a big nudge.  Lexie and her son, Brock have moved in next door. They are new to town and could use a father/grandfather figure in their lives.  Stanley begins by doing little things and then he starts spending more time in their company until he says the wrong thing.  It looks like he will end up spending Christmas alone despite Carol’s best efforts.  Is there a way to get them all back together again?  Stanley may seem gruff but there is a softie in there somewhere.  We get to know more about Stanley and Carol’s life together through the reminisces.  We get to see the special life the couple had together as Stanley travels down memory lane.  Lexie is a teacher raising her son on her own.  She is grieving the loss of her father.  Lexie wishes her mother would visit her, but her mother is grieving as well.  Lexie would like to find a man to be a part of her and Brock’s life, but she wants to make sure that he is nothing like her ex-boyfriend.  Brock was your typical little boy.  He really took a shine to Stanley and helped bring the man out of his shell.  Brock’s behavior could be an example to adults especially his ability to forgive.  There is a cute Westie in the story too.  I have a feeling Carol helped the dog find Stanley.  A Little Christmas Spirit is just what I needed to put me in the mood for the holidays. I knew I could count on Sheila Connolly to provide a touching Christmas tale.  A Little Christmas Spirit is a tender holiday story with a cute canine, a bubbly boy, a calamitous matchmaking attempt, a grouchy grandpa, an inconvenient injury, and a tenderhearted teacher. 


It was the sixth call in two days, all from the same person. Wouldn’t you think, if a man didn’t answer his phone the first five times, that the pest would get the message and quit bugging him?

But no, and now Stanley Mann was irritated enough to pick up and say a gruff “Hello.” Translation: Why are you bugging me?

“It’s about time you answered,” said his sister-in-law, Amy. “I was beginning to wonder if you were okay.”

Of course, he wasn’t okay. He hadn’t been okay since Carol had died.

“I’m fine. Thanks for checking.”

The words didn’t come out with any sense of warmth or appreciation for her concern to encourage conversation, but Amy soldiered on. “Stan, we all want you to come down for Thanksgiving. You haven’t seen the family in ages.”

Not since the memorial service, and he hadn’t really missed them. He liked his brother-in-law well enough, but his wife’s younger sister was a ding-dong, her daughters were drama queens and their husbands were idiots. The younger generation were all into their selfies and their jobs and their crazy vacations where they swam with sharks. Who in their right mind swam with sharks? He had better things to do than subject himself to spending an entire day with them.

He did have enough manners left to thank Amy for the invite before turning her down.

“You really should come,” she persisted.

No, he shouldn’t.

“Don’t you want to see the new great-niece?”

No, he didn’t. “I’ve got plans.”

“What? To hole up in the house with a turkey frozen dinner?”

“No.” Not turkey. He hated turkey. It made him sleepy.

“You know Carol would want you to be with us.”

He’d been with them pretty much every Thanksgiving of his married life. He’d paid his dues.

“You don’t have any family of your own.”

Thanks for rubbing it in. He’d lost his brother ten years earlier to a heart attack, and both his parents were gone now as well. He and Carol had never had any kids of their own.

But he was fine. He was perfectly happy in his own company.

“I’m good, Amy. Don’t worry about me.”

“I can’t help it. You know, Carol was always afraid that if something happened to her you’d become a hermit.”

Hermits were scruffy old buzzards with bad teeth and long beards who hated people. Stanley didn’t hate people. He just didn’t need to be around them all the time. There was a difference. And he wasn’t scruffy. He brushed his teeth. And he shaved...every once in a while.

“Amy, I’m fine. Don’t worry. Happy Thanksgiving, and tell Jimmy he can have my share of the turkey,” Stanley said, then ended the call before she could grill him further regarding those plans he’d said he had.

They were perfectly good plans. He was going to pick up a frozen pizza and watch something on TV. That sure beat driving all the way from Fairwood, Washington, to Gresham, Oregon, to be alternately bored and irritated by his in-laws. If Amy really wanted to do something good for him, she could leave him alone.

At first everyone had. He was a man in mourning. Then came COVID-19, and he was a senior self-quarantining. Now, however, it appeared he was supposed to be ready to party on. Well, he wasn’t.

Two days before Thanksgiving he made the one-mile journey to the grocery store, figuring he’d dodge the crowd. He’d figured wrong, and the store was packed with people finishing up the shopping for their holiday meal. The turkey supply in the meat freezer was running dangerously low, and half a dozen women and a lone man crowded around it like miners at the river’s edge, searching for gold, each trying to snag the best bird from the selection that remained. A woman rolled past him with a mini-mountain of food in her cart, a wailing toddler in the seat and two kids dragging along behind her, one of them pointing to the chips aisle and whining.

“I said no,” she snapped. “We don’t need chips.”

Nope. That woman needed a stiff drink.

Stanley grabbed his pizza and some pumpkin ice cream and got in the checkout line.

Two men around his age stood in front of him, talking. “They’re out of black olives,” said the first one. “I got green instead.”

The second man shook his head. “Your wife ain’t gonna like that. Everyone knows you got to have black olives at Thanksgiving.”

“I can’t help it if there’s none left on the shelves. Anyway, the only one who eats ’em is her brother, and the loser can suck it up and do without.”

Yep, family togetherness. Stanley wasn’t going to miss that.

He’d miss being with Carol, though. He missed her every day. Her absence was an ache that never left him, and resentment kept it ever fresh.

They’d reached what was often referred to as the Golden Circle, that time in life when you had enough money to travel and enjoy yourself, when your health was still good and you could carry your own luggage. They’d enjoyed traveling and had planned on doing so much more together—taking a world cruise, renting a beach house in California for a summer, even going deep-sea fishing in Mexico. Their golden years were going to be great.

Those golden years turned to brass the day she died. She didn’t even die of cancer or a stroke or something he could have accepted. She was killed in a car accident. A drunk driver in a truck had done her in and walked away with nothing more than some bruises from his airbag. It wasn’t right, and it wasn’t fair. And Stanley didn’t really have anything to be thankful about. He didn’t like Thanksgiving.

There would be worse to follow. After Thanksgiving it would be Merry Christmas!, Happy Hanukkah!, Happy Kwanzaa!, you name it. All that happy would finally get tied up in a big Happy New Year! bow. As if buying a new calendar magically made everything better. Well, it didn’t.

Stanley spent his Thanksgiving Day in lonely splendor, watching football on TV and eating his pizza. It’s not delivery. It’s DiGiorno. Worked for him. He ate two-thirds of it before deciding he should pace himself. Got to save room for dessert. Pumpkin ice cream—just as good as the traditional pie and whipped cream, and it didn’t come with any irritating in-laws. Ice cream was the food of the gods. After his pizza, he pulled out a large bowl, filled it and dug in.

When they got older, Carol had turned into the ice cream police, limiting his consumption. She’d pat his belly and say, “Now, Manly Stanley, too much of that and you’ll end up looking like a big, fat snowman. Plus you’ll clog your arteries, and that’s not good. I don’t want to risk losing you.”

Ironic. He’d wound up losing her instead.

Between all the ice cream and the beer he’d been consuming with no one to police him, he was starting to look a little like Frosty the Snowman. (Before he melted.) But who cared? He got himself a second bowl of ice cream.

He topped it off with a couple of beers and a movie along with some store-bought cookies. There you go. Happy Thanksgiving.

For a while, anyway. Until everything got together in his stomach and began to misbehave. He shouldn’t have eaten so much. Especially the pizza. He really couldn’t do spicy now that he was older. Telling everyone down there that all would soon be well, he took a couple of antacids.

No one down there was listening, and all that food had its own Turkey Day football game still going in his gut when he went to bed. He tossed and turned and groaned until, finally, he fell into an uneasy sleep.

“Pepperoni and sausage?” scolded a voice in his ear. “You know better than to eat that spicy food, Stanley.”

“I know, I know,” he muttered. “You’re right, Carol.”

Carol! Stanley rolled over and saw his wife standing by the side of his bed. She was wearing the black nightie he always loved to see her in. And then out of. Her eyes were as blue as ever. How he’d missed that sweet face!

But what was she doing here?

He blinked. “Is it really you?” He thought he’d never see her again in this lifetime, but there she was. His heart turned over.

“Yes, it’s really me,” she said.

She looked radiant and so kissable, but that quickly changed. Suddenly, her body language wasn’t very lovey-dovey. She frowned and put her hands on her hips, a sure sign she was about to let him have it.

“What were you thinking?” she demanded.

He didn’t have to ask what she was referring to. He knew.

“It’s Thanksgiving. I was celebrating,” he said.

She frowned. “All by yourself.”

“I happen to like my own company. You know that.”

“There’s liking your own company, and there’s hiding.”

“I am not hiding,” he insisted.

“Yes, you are. I gave you time to mourn, time to adjust, but enough is enough. Life is short, Stanley. It’s like living off your savings. Each day you take another withdrawal, and pretty soon there’s nothing left. You have to spend those days wisely. You’re wasting yours, dribbling away the last of your savings.”

“That’s fine with me,” he insisted. “I hate my life.”

He hated waking up to find her side of the bed empty and ached for her smile. Without her the house felt deserted. He felt deserted.

“You still like ice cream, don’t you?” she argued.

Except for when he paired it with pizza.

“Stanley, you need to get out there and...live.”

“What do you think I’m doing?” he grumped.

“Going through the motions, hanging in limbo.”

What else could she expect? “It’s not the same without you,” he protested.

“Of course it’s not. But you’re still here, and you’re here for a reason. Don’t make what happened to me a double waste. Somebody snatched my life from me, and I wasn’t done with it. I want you to go on living for the both of us.”

“How can I do that? This isn’t a life, not without you sharing it.”

“It’s a different kind of life, that’s all.”

It was a subpar, meager existence. “I miss you, Carol. I miss you sitting across from me at the breakfast table. I miss us doing things together and sitting together at night, watching TV. I miss...your touch.” He finished on a sob.

“I know.” She sat down on the bed next to him, and he couldn’t help noticing how the blankets didn’t shift under her. “But you have to start filling those empty places, Stanley.”

“I don’t want to,” he cried. “I don’t want to.”

He was still muttering “I don’t want to” when he woke up.

Alone. For a moment there, her presence had felt so real.

“She wasn’t there at all, you dope,” he muttered.

Except why was there a faint scent of peppermint in the bedroom? It made him think of the chocolate Christmas cookies she used to make with the mint-candy frosting and sprinkles on them. After a few big sniffs, he couldn’t detect so much as a whiff of peppermint and shook his head in disgust. Indigestion and memory. That was all she was.
Are you ready to read A Little Christmas SpiritA Little Christmas Spirit is available from Amazon*, Harlequin, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Powell's, and Bookshop.org.  You can find Sheila Roberts other novels here.  You should check out The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts (such a charming story).  Visit Harlequin.com to look at their other Christmas stories.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope I have helped you to find a new book and author.  I will be back tomorrow with Bear a Wee Grudge by Meg Macy.  It is the 5th A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery.  I hope that you have a merry Monday.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


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Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that you and your family have a joyful Thanksgiving.  I wanted to share a couple of pictures of my inflatable turkeys.  I will be taking them down tomorrow and setting up my Christmas decorations.  I have over twenty Christmas inflatables (I have to figure out which ones I want to use).  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and relaxing weekend. 


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 Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Christmas with the Cornish Girls by Betty Walker

 Christmas with the Cornish Girls

Book Summary

1941. The bombs still fall, but in St. Ives Christmas is finally approaching for the Cornish Girls…

With the war ongoing, Lily is feeling anything but festive. That is, until Eva asks if she’ll join her in working at an officers’ convalescent home, lifting her spirits no end.

Eva came to St. Ives to be near the man who almost gave his life to protect hers. But will the wounded pilot ever help to heal himself by opening his heart to love?

Rose suspects the local orphanage is mistreating its charges – and it’s her job to uncover the truth before it’s too late…

Can the Cornish Girls help one another through the darkest days in order to give everyone in St. Ives the sparkling Christmas they so deserve?
My Thoughts

Lily, Hazel, Eva are back along with Lily’s family plus we get to meet Sister Rose Gray (a nurse).  Thanks to budget cuts, Lily needs a new position.  Eva writes to Lily about an opening as assistant nurse at Symmonds Hall Convalescent Home for Wounded Servicemen near St. Ives where Eva works as a nurse.  Rose is Eva and Lily’s superior, and she is a tartar (a real stickler for the rules).  Rose is in love with Dr. Lewis Lanyon, but her beautiful younger sister, Elsie has laid claim.  Rose is worried about the children in the orphanage next door.  She feels that something is amiss with the caretakers and is especially worried about young Jimmy.  Eva loves Flight Lieutenant Max Carmichael who is recovering at the hall from a spinal injury.  Max has been told that he will never walk again, and he has given up hope.  He refuses to consider a future with Eva.  Lily has been put in charge of the Christmas party for the hall and she has no clue how to accomplish the daunting task.  

Christmas with the Cornish Girls by Betty Walker takes us back to 1941 with the characters from Wartime with the Cornish Girls.  I recommend reading the series in order (it will help you to know the characters, and what has happened to them).  I thought Christmas with the Cornish Girls contained good writing with a steady flow.  The characters are developed and relatable.  I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of Cornwall.  We follow the day to day of life of Eva, Lily, and Rose at Symmonds Convalescent Home.  We get to see how difficult it was to manage the large facility with limited staff and resources.  There was so much uncertainty, turmoil, loss, and violence.  They had to find joy where they could during these tumultuous times.  The point-of-view switches between Ivy, Rose, and Eva.  I enjoyed seeing Lily and Rose change over the course of the book.  I think Lily leaving home for the new job was the best thing that could happen to her.  I love the Christmas feel in the later part of the book.  The Christmas party was the highlight of the story.  I loved the ending and appreciated the epilogue.  Christmas with the Cornish Girls will leave you smiling and a good feeling in your heart.  

Christmas with the Cornish Girls is available from Amazon*.  The first book in The Cornish Girls Series is Wartime with the Cornish Girls.  You can follow Betty Walker on Amazon so you will receive an email when she releases a new book.  Thank you so much for joining me today.  I am going to take the next four days off to enjoy Thanksgiving (and decorate for Christmas).  I will return on Monday, November 29 with A Little Christmas Spirit by Sheila Roberts.  I hope that you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Take care and Happy Reading!


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